Friday, February 28, 2014

Do you see Disability or Ability

I wanted to point out that I am so happy to be back working with one of my former clients , I will give you a little background on him! MS is a 29yr male who has cerebral palsy, this young man and I have been together for almost 5 years minus the 6 months this past year when I went to another position. MS is one of the most inspirational people I have ever met in my life , when you meet him you instantly fall in love with his charisma charm and his amazing outlook on life. Not once has he ever asked for help with a battle that he could do on his own, with clear and precise articulation he will debate his case and show that his disability is clearly cosmetic. During my time off of his case MS came to my home, socialized with my friends and even attended social outings with just the guys. MS is not only my client he is my friend. In my line of work you should not pick favorites or become too emotionally attached to clients but how can you not when they are as amazing as him. My family loves him my kids love him and hell I swear my father in law has a bromance going on with MS. The unfortunate part for MS is that for 5 years we have been looking to find him a job because all he wants is to feel like he is productive citizen and that he contributes in a positive way back to his community, no one will hire him because all they see is his disability and not his ability . I wanted to post word for word of a letter that he wrote to the producer and host of the radio show "The Current" it is as follows :

My name is MS , I am a 29 year old resident of Surrey BC and a long time fan of your show. I recently was listening to an episode of the "Current" and the subject was a documentary regarding the anti Gay movement in Russia. While listening I could not help but realize that I was taken back to the thought of the national socialist party circa Nazi Germany WW2 . The sudden and frightening realization has given me pause for thought, the tactics used in Russia today are a stark reminder of the atrocities that were used against the Jewish population at the start of the War.the only primary difference is that instead of using a religious background as a social fall guy as you will , the Russians are choosing to use a state of being as their target. I would also like to share my thoughts in a statement made in the documentary ( indirect quote ) " good people can do terrible things " in a case such as this evil is evil let us not mince words here. While it is true that good people can do terrible things , I am sure a man with your background can attest , there is no denying that these vigilante groups that are given autonomy by there  government could be considered a declaration of war against the subculture of the international community ! In closing it is my belief , as the international community we need to stand up for the rights of every individual regardless of race , religion or sexual preference or face the real possibility of a world wide revolt and a repeat performance of the horrible and heinous acts of our past."

This man has so many great thoughts and ideas in his head and it's a shame that no one will take him seriously in life and give him the chance to feel whole. The writing may be rough in areas but I hope you can see the brilliance in this man and the next time you meet someone with a disability you may stop and want to know more about their ABILITY. Be kind

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Santa To 10k

As I inch closer to my goal of #SantaTo10k I find myself wondering , how far do I go ? My whole idea for growing @FVSecretSanta is to be able to spread more awareness of social issues , be an inspiration to more people and  promote the donation of time -money or word of mouth for numerous charities here in Vancouver and around the world. I had someone ask me the other day how much have you raised for Charity ? Honestly I can not answer that question, there has been so many different causes that I have been a part of and to be frank I don't keep track and I don't want too ! If you start counting the pennies you lose track of the dollars and lose sight of why you are fund raising in the first place, helping people. I would love to one day hit 100k in followers and be able to know that I am reaching a large audience and making an impact. When I do leave this world ( not anytime soon I hope ) I don't want to be remembered for the material things I have , but for the heart in my body and for the values I have instilled in my children hoping they will carry on the KINDNESS TO OTHERS mission I find myself on. I want to thank everyone who has stood behind @fvsecretsanta and helped to build #TeamSanta to the point we are at now. It's never been about me or what I can gain from this whole thing , it's about you and what we can do together to help others in this world that have been dealt a hand that is hard to play. Thank you Vancouver , Canada , the World and especially every single person who believes in #TeamSanta. It's about People helping people. Much Love

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentines Day

Ahhh another holiday upon us , the corporate world telling us that the only way possible to show someone that you love them is by showering them with lavish gifts , cards from the store and way too over priced flowers that are sold on every corner. Did I buy a card? . YES did I buy flowers? Of course but I bet you if I would have written on the chalkboard in the kitchen "I LoveYou" it would have just as much impact. Just like at Christmas it's not the cost , not what you buy ,it about the expression of feelings towards the ones who mean the most to you. I still remember the day that I knew I had met the woman of my dreams, feeling down due to the ending of a relationship and hating women and the world , a friend dragged me to the bar to get out from the house. Minding my own business, drinking rye and ginger like it was Gatorade, I started shaking my head at a girl walking by that was wearing those "Chewbacca" fuzzy hairy boots ( They really were horrible boots). I guess  the head shake did not go un-noticed because I was approached by another woman who was smiling and laughing at my reaction to the boots. When I saw her I could not take my eyes off of her amazing smile, you know when you see in movies that everything slows down and almost seems in slow motion? That's how it felt, that's how it still feels almost 8 years later. I know sappy stuff huh , it's not quite "The Notebook" and it's definitely not "Baywatch" slow but you get the idea. Mrs Santa has given me 3 beautiful children and I am positive they got their beautiful looks from her. I honestly couldn't have  imagined the life I have now 8 years ago but I can imagine life without Mrs Santa and my 3 amazing children. Sure we have struggled through adversity , family issues , financial issues the sickness of our family members and children and even death but one thing we haven't done is give up on each other and the love we have. What I hope for all of you reading this or not is to someday find that one person or have already found that one person that is a key piece to your hearts puzzle. Happy Valentines Day everyone

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pride of a nation

The Olympics have begun and are off to a fantastic start. I know that many people find the Olympics to be an over priced  political event but once you see past all the government bureaucracy , you can almost feel the electricity that it brings and the unification of a country. Every 4 years no matter what country you live in you will find those people that are enemies standing side by side cheering for one common goal , the pride of a nation. Yes in some cases there are professionals that play in the games but the Olympics are about best on best not paycheck for paycheck. There have been many stories that have come out of Russia regarding the homophobic ideations of the Russian leader and the senseless slaughter of innocent animals for being homeless. These stories are an outrage and make me sick to think about ! I am so proud of our gay and lesbian athletes from around the world that had the courage to not back down and to attend the games with pride and to represent not only their country but also themselves. One heartwarming story I heard about was during a Biathlon race ; a Russian skier broke one of their ski's on the way to the finish line , a Canadian skier stopped gave the Russian skier one of their skis so that the person could finish the race to boisterous cheers  in front of the home crowd. That to me symbolizes what the games are all about , passion , compassion , fair play and the show of unity. Sure we all hope for the most gold medals so we can pump up our chest and say for that moment we are the best but I am sure if you would ask people at the end of the day , would you rather have all the medals and be known as a nation that does not care about anything but winning and is seen as arrogant or would you take no medals and be known as a nation that played their hearts out for the crest on the front of the uniform and not just the name on the back. Regardless of the medal count , to me , every person that puts on a Canadian uniform is an Olympics champion to me.I hope that you feel the same from which ever country you represent. To all the moms,dads and coaches this is a time to be proud you have prepared your champions well.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Unconditional love

Many believe that life gives you only as much as you can handle. Life must think we can handle a lot.
I am sure that some of you who do follow Santa's tweets were aware that  about a week ago Mrs Santa had what we thought was an Asthma attack, it was very scary watching my wife battle for air and not be able to help her in a moment when she needed me.sitting there helpless I can't even make her laugh ( it's just what I always do to try and lighten a situation) wanting to see that beautiful smile. Mrs Santa is not only the mother to my 3 children but my soul mate and I was truly worried for her at that moment. I tried not to let it show ,she needed me.
Fortunately the attack passed and we were sent home , unfortunately Mrs Santa has a diagnosis of of another kind other than Asthma , I will not get into the dynamics of what she has at this point but I will say we are thankful that it's nothing terminal or threatening to her life.
There were many tears and hugs from all of us, if we didn't know we loved each other before we sure do now . Mrs Santa keeps saying " Thank you for being so supportive" I just let her know that no matter what she may be dealing with , we deal with as a family and there would be nothing that she could be dealing with that would make me love her any less . Love should always be unconditional there should not be any parameters or guidelines.
Same should be said about our love for helping other people, there are so many people out there that are hurting and in need of someone to love them or at least show that someone in this world cares.
I wanted to mention that I was able to attend a conference this week that dealt with a subject that I feel is so important " Violence against women" I am sure that each and everyone who reads this knows of or has heard of a woman
Who has been a victim of violence of abuse. This cycle has to stop , we can no longer turn a blind eye. When you see or hear of abuse #DontBeABystander report it , call the police be a friend . There is a few people that I would like to thank for there efforts in taking a stand for ending violence. The @bclions @j_tonto27 @angusreid64 #JamieTaras @TravisLulay @GM_Brillo as you know the lions are an outstanding organization that have helped Santa in the past with donations for events for some of my disabled clients as well they made a dream come true for 2 clients who are wheel chair bound to come and see a game Live  that they had only experienced on TV. Mr Lulay even made time to sign the  @timhortons gift cards I had  to give to the homeless in our community so they could get shot meal. Another great example of Unconditional love . Please everyone who reads this thank all of the people listed above plus anyone else that has the courage to #DontBeABystander